Mind & Matter

 

Light Field Camera Allows Focus Shift, Post-Shot

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Lytro light field camera allows photographers to manipulate focus after the picture is taken. Photo courtesy of Lytro.

 

In the field of photography, post-processing can yield significant benefits, such as the ability to correct for color, exposure, and geometry. However, some image properties—such as focus—may not be significantly modified post-capture.

A new camera technology will bring unprecedented flexibility to the post-processing stage. When it is made commercially available later this year, the Lytro light field camera will allow photographers to do the unthinkable—adjust image focus after a shot has been taken.

Based on a Stanford dissertation by Dr. Ren Ng, the new photographic technology records separate light rays and their individual characteristics, rather than combining them as typical digital cameras do. In-camera software integrates the various colors and intensities of these rays to create what we perceive as a single image, and the recorded light field data may be manipulated later to obtain the optimal focus point.

Demonstrations of the technology may be found on the Lytro blog page.

 

 
 

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About the Blogger

Blaine Brownell

thumbnail image Minnesota-based architect and author Blaine Brownell, AIA, is a self-defined materials researcher and sustainable building adviser. His "Product of the Week" emails and three volumes of Transmaterial (2006, 2008, 2010) provide designers with a steady flow of inspiration—a 21st-century Grammar of Ornament. Blaine has practiced architecture in Japan and the U.S. and has been published in more than 40 design, business, and science publications. The recipient of a Fulbright fellowship for 2006–07, he researched contemporary Japanese material innovations at the Tokyo University of Science. He currently teaches architecture and co-directs the M.S. in Sustainable Design program at the University of Minnesota. His book Matter in the Floating World was published by Princeton Architectural Press in 2011.